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JR Boucicaut, November 13, 2011
Posted November 13, 2011
Posted November 15, 2011
Product: Miken Razor Z9
Curve: BP14 (mid/toe ½” curve, open angle,5.5 lie)
Grip: Mtac Grip
Length: 60” uncut
Tester: 6’2”, 190 lbs . I'm 47 and have only been playing on ice for the last 5 years. Thinking I could buy skill I have acquired a pile of high end sticks only to realize that the problem was me . Now I have a decent shot and I can appreciate when a stick is aiding my performance after much trial and error.
I would also like to thank the Mods and Miken for giving me a chance to try this stick. Having the opportunity to do this is just another example of what makes this site worthwhile for hockey aficionados.
My stick arrived in one piece (see Sickwilly's post) but now that I think of it, I was surprised at the lack of packing material on the stick. It was just wrapped in plastic and then in a long cardboard box-no interior structure or bubble wrap for extra protection. It crossed my mind that it could easily broken during shipping this way but figured the courier company knows what they are doing and it wouldn't be an issue. Again see Sickwilly's LTR.
After much trial and error (and cash) I have determined that “my” stick is the Easton SE16 in a 75 flex with a Zetterberg pattern. I love the Drury but have a hard time keeping my shots below the goalie’s glove hand with it which led me to the Zetterberg.
I spent a bunch of time playing around with 100 flex sticks hoping that as my technique improved I would be able to take advantage of loading such a stiff technique. I also thought that given my size, I should be using a higher flex. Accidentally stumbling across a 75 flex showed me how much better my snapshot and wrist shot was at this flex and, honestly, those are the shots I use most of the time. I had tried an Inno 70 flex and it was too noodly and 87 flex in Bauer takes away some of the pop in my snap shot-so 75 it was.
That ‘s why I was intrigued by the 80 flex of this Miken stick. I’m hoping it might be a nice in between. Giving me the pop on snapshots and still give me a little extra stiffness for crisp slap-passes and the odd slapshot.
I use a longish stick and the first thing I did was add a wooden plug of about 1 ½ “ to the stock 60” stick.
The balance is as advertised. My SE16’s feel a bit blade-light compared to the Z9. The Z9 had a really comfortable balance to it. It felt just right. As I said, the SE16 seemed off balance but that was only compared to the Z9. Prior to a comparison, I loved the feel of the SE16.
The grip called the Mtack is also really nice. Interestingly, the top 12’’ or so of the shaft have no grip coating. The grip only begins where the bottom hand would normally be in various situations.Not sure of the point of this since one would generally tape the top part of the stick to provide grip for the top hand but it was something I noticed. The grip itself is very similar to Warrior’s polar fibre grip that was on the AK-27 shaft with a tad more rubbery feel. I loved the polar fibre grip and this one is just right. Not too sticky but sufficient enough to prevent my weak grip from losing control of the stick while still allowing for easy movement along the shaft. This type of grip feels silky if your hand is relaxed and sliding up and down the shaft but as soon as you tighten your grip even slightly, the grip becomes quite solid. Best of both worlds.
I’m not overly crazy about the graphics of the stick but that is a small point. I just don’t personally like the look of how the white shaft fades to a white blade. Just looks so not really important, just sayin’.
The puck feel on this stick is also really nice. Not too “clacky” like some sticks . Really nice soft feel with the puck. Receiving passes, even crisp passes, is a easy. Puck doesn’t just glance off the blade as I have found with some sticks.
I helped out as a shooter at a goalie clinic my son’s minor hockey association was holding today so I had a chance to try some shooting with the stick. There is definitely a nice pop to the stick on snapshots and wrist shots were nice and hard and accurate. That is what struck me most, I seemed to be able to hit what I was aiming at more than usual. Could have been that I was in a no pressure situation. The BP41 pattern is a slight curve focused more at the midpoint and toe of the blade. This gave the pop to my wrist shots but the not too open face allowed me to control the rise of my shots as well. Again, a nice in between of the retail Zetterberg (Easton) and Drury that I like.
Those are my intitial thoughts so far. Playing pickup tonight which should give me a better test of the stick in realistic conditions. More to follow with pics soon.
Played pickup with the stick last night. Didn't get too much time during warmup to take a pile of shots and only got a couple weak shots off in the game so nothing really to add at this poing. Only thing I can fairly comment on is the feel of the stick. I really love the balance of this stick-it feels just right. A bit more weight in the blade compared to my SE16 and felt lighter. The grip is just right. Not a lot of new updates at this point but I thought I would use this opportunity to upload some photos.http://imageshack.us/g/69/tightback.jpg/
Posted December 7, 2011
So I'm loving this stick. Generally, I take my favourite stick of the moment plus one other to play around with to games/shinny etc. I end up trying both out. Generally, one is better for some things and the other for other things. Generally, I end up putting one away after warmups. Now, I generally just bring this stick alone. It performs well at everything. Slapshots aren't the best but that is likely because slapshots aren't my best. I find the accuracy of this stick beyond anything else I have used. Tried picking posts at the last stick and puck I was at. Heard that "ping" sound repeatedly. I just find that on snapshots and wristshots, the puck seems to go where I want it to. At Winterfest I was trying a Widow and a Mako. After about 10 minutes I went back to the Miken and stayed with it for the rest of the game. Could be because the Widow and Mako were a bit short for me but the difference in length between them and the Miken was only about 2 inches. The Widow was a 100 flex and I prefer a 75-85 flex so that takes the Widow out of comparison. The Mako 75 felt "noodly" compared to the Miken which is an 80 flex. Not that much difference in flex numbers to make that much difference, I would suspect. The Miken just feels right. It is the first stick I have had where I feel confident with it in all aspects of my game (ie no slapshots). Passing is spot on, receiving feels great, and shots have more pop than I generally feel. Hard to say how the durability is holding up since it's only been a few games. So far, only one little paint chip on the hossel. IF this stick is durable, then it is my stick going forward (if I can find a retailer in Canada near me).
Posted December 12, 2011
Still loving this stick. Besides the great balance and puck feel previously mentioned, the one thing that has struck me about this stick is the accuracy I seem to get shooting with it. I went to a stick and puck session the other day and had some time to compare it with my favourite SE16. I had thought that the Miken had more pop to it but upon a back and forth comparison between the two they were about the same with the Easton just edging out the Miken but only by a hair. What I did notice was that besides the better balance and puck feel on the Miken I seemed to be able to put the puck where I wanted it more often. I tried picking posts switching between the two sticks and I could hit the target numerous times in a row with the Miken as opposed to the Easton-same length, virtually the same pattern and almost the same flex (75 on Easton, 80 on the Miken). It was like I could finally aim my shot. I am chalking this up to less flexing of the blade on the Miken but really don't care what the physics is-all I know is that with the Miken I am more accurate.
Also just came back from a game of pickup. This time I took a Dolomite out to compare. Shots were not where I wanted them to be. Switched to the Miken and potted two goals. One was inside the glove side post where I was aiming and the second was a five-hole goal on a quick release shot where I didn't have all the time in the world to line it up. So now add, accuracy to this stick-at least for me. Couldn't be happier with this stick.
Cosmetically, the paint is still holding up and the grip is still fresh. Pop feels the same as when I got it. I will update after more time has passed. I just wanted to add the point about the accuracy.
Posted December 28, 2011
Played three back-to-back games last night with THE stick. Still holding up well. No noticeable lack of pop so far. Small chip on the toe of the blade. Not sure when it occurred. Remains my prime stick. Don't want to bore you with more of the same about the nice puck feel and snap since that has not changed so I won't Love this stick. More updates when I have something other to report than this is my favourite stick ever.
Posted January 13, 2012
Haven't been on the ice as much over the last few weeks-maybe five games. The only update is that the toe of the blade is starting to show a couple of small chips. Nothing major-a couple of layers of ToePro and everything seemed fine. Other than that, this stick has taken its share or pucks off the shaft (which is quite obvious on the white color) and whacks and only the chips in the toe. Still has lots of pop. I have gone to taking two sticks to games again just to try one period with stick x and then going to the Miken to compare. Still favouring the Miken and that is comparing it similar flex and price-range sticks.
Posted March 12, 2012
Finally got back on the ice last night for the first time in a while (sick). After picking up a couple of different pro-stock sticks of similar flex and kick point on sale, I had been using them for the last while but decided to go back to the Miken again to keep the review going. It also provided me with a decent comparison between the other high-end sticks I had been using the last month or so. The Miken did not disappoint. The pop on snap shots and wrist shots was noticeably different than the pro-stocks I had been using (obviously, with all the custom tweaks etc done for pro's, each stick is very particular and tailored to that individual so it can be expected that it might not be ideal for me). I much preferred the puck feel and accuracy the Miken offered. The blade is still feeling great and there are, so far, no signs of softness. I took a slapshot right off the lower part of the shaft and the stick held up. The small chip on the toe of the blade still hasn't spread. Durability-wise, this stick keeps on ticking. Should have saved my money on the pro-stocks to buy another one of these. Which leads me to the one issue I have with Miken. I am having difficulty finding a retailer in the Toronto area that sells these sticks. I really like this stick and hate the idea of being without one when this one eventually breaks :) (I know I can get them online but I prefer to shop at a LHS).
Posted April 1, 2012
After taking the tape off my blade I have noticed that the chip on the toe has grown larger. It's starting to flake a bit which concerns me. It's almost as if the layers of carbon are starting to de-laminate ??? I covered up the chip with some epoxy which I sanded down as best I could. The toe is a bit uneven but the area is only about 1/4 " in size so I doubt it will affect much. My only concern is keeping the chip from causing the blade to split. I am still loving this stick. Still has lots of pop and receives passes like a dream. We will see how the epoxy job holds up.
Posted June 15, 2012
The chip in the toe is growing. I have kept this stick in regular rotation and it still has tons of pop. Every time I come back to it I love it. I have also really noticed the narrower shaft dimensions when mixing up sticks and I really like the dimensions of this shaft. I know some hate it but it just seems to feel right to me. Played a couple of games with it this week and the toe is really starting to split to the point where I can see a bit of the foam inside the blade. So far it hasn't affected performance but it gets worse with each use. Just put a layer of fibreglass repair over the toe. Waiting for it to cure and then I will see how that works-I really want to keep this stick going. Still, not bad for the many months of heavy rotation. Taken plenty of whacks etc and the shaft is holding up, it's just this damned toe that is going....
Posted July 4, 2012
This is the fiberglass Bondo repair job. I have been using this stick about three times a week in two pick up sessions and one beer league game ever since and it is holding up great. Stick still going strong. After shying away from it because of the chipped toe I definitely noticed the smaller shaft dimensions upon returning to it and I have to say I prefer this shaft dimension. Pop still there, blah blah. Same old stuff. This stick just doesn't quit in terms of performance. The break down of the toe was disappointing but it was after tons of use so I can't complain. The repair job has slowed that for sure so I can continue to use this stick. Definitely my fave stick so far. Let's hope it keeps on going.
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